Monday, March 16, 2009

Celebrity Playlist

[I apologize in advance for the length of this post.]

I have been purchasing quite a bit of music lately. Some good stuff, I think. I rarely actually sit and listen to music, but I often listen to music when I am working at TSWL or walking across campus and what not. I especially like it when I go hiking at Turkey Mountain. Well, I was on iTunes when I noticed that they have "Celebrity Playlists," in which you can buy songs that famous people recommend. I thought I would give it a try. And considering that I love to make mix CDs for a lot of my friends, I tried to think about what I would put on a mix CD for myself. So, I stuck to 18 tracks, which is what usually fits on a CD.

1. "Foolish Love" by Rufus Wainwright (Album: Rufus Wainwright, 1998). Rufus must be first on my list because he is my most immediate interest in music right now. I have slowly fallen in love with him since a friend of a friend copied my Rufus Does Judy. Ever since, I have slowly acquired his music, and I love his wonderful voice. For a while, I had very little interests in male singers, but now, I can assert that he is my favorite singer at present. This particular song is just one of many that I really like.

2. "Half-Life" by Duncan Sheik (Album: Daylight, 2002). Duncan Sheik is another late discovery in my life. While I've always loved "Barely Breathing," which has been on my iPod for quite some time, I only recently got into his music through Spring Awakening. Actually, I had mistaken one of his songs as a track by another artist and thankfully I was able to get more of Duncan Sheik's music. I love how his albums tell stories, and you can see this wonderful transition from his score writing to his own music with his latest debut, Whisper House.

3. "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole" by Martha Wainwright (Album: Martha Wainwright, 2005). I first heard Martha Wainwright sing "Stormy Weather" on Rufus Does Judy. Thankfully, I have been able to explore some of her stuff. For more, see my previous post on her.

4. "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure (Album: Boys Don't Cry, 1980). The Cure. Need I say more?

5. "Taking Chances" by Abra Moore (Album: No Fear, 2002). This is my track from Felicity, which has let me into quite a bit of music. I love this track just for its sheer uplifting feeling it gives me. Never before have I wanted to just go out and achieve something. I really needed this song to get through grad school, I think.

6. "I Know I Know I Know" by Tegan and Sara (Album: So Jealous, 2004). Following Felicity, this song comes from Veronica Mars, my second favorite show. These two sing like no one else, and I love the repetition they use in all of their songs (see "Monday Monday Monday"). Check out this YouTube video from an MTV live music session:

7. "Lucky" by Bif Naked (Album: I Bificus, 1998). My third, and final, song inspired from a TV show. Bif Naked actually performed this song on the fourth season of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Seen as the most turbulent and out of place seasons of the show's run, the episode in which this song appears, "The Harsh Light of Day," is not exemplary of the entire season, but it is one that provides a nice transition to the crossover with Angel.

8. "Because the Night" by 10,000 Maniacs (Album: MTV Unplugged: 10,000 Maniacs, 1993). I didn't realize that this song was actually a cover of a song by the Patti Smith Group. I love this particular band, and Natalie Merchant to be more specific. I think song highlights both the group and the individual's particular best qualities. I also included the video because it's great. On a personal note, I play a mean air violin to accompany the band, and I share many fond memories of singing this song in an incredibly loud voice while driving around Natchitoches.

9. "Caring is Creepy" by The Shins (Album: Oh, Inverted World, 2001). I have to thank my old roommate, Marli, for introducing me to this group. As for this particular song, it is my favorite on this album. I also love the rhythm of their songs.

10. "Permission" by Joseph Arthur (Album: Redemption's Son, 2002). While I do love this entire album, this particular song has always moved me the most. Maybe its the song's simplicity?

11. "1963" by Rachael Yamagata (Album: Happenstance, 2005). This is a delightful little song that I didn't have when I first downloaded some of Yamagata's music. However, it was the first song that I officially purchased from iTunes from my iPod. I think the video for the song is great, which is why I included it below. Hopefully, the lyrics and music are just as enjoyable.

12. "Head Over Feet" by Alanis Morrissette (Album: Jagged Little Pill, 1995). Greatest female artist ever? Quite possible. Alanis is amazing, and I have been blessed because I have managed to see her live twice. I would say this is my favorite track from her debut album.

13. "Finally" by The Frames (Album: Burn the Maps, 2005). Thank you Nick Reeves for letting some friends and I take some music from the Demon radio station. With that, I might not have discovered this wonderful band. This is the actual album I managed to get back in 2006. Since, The Frames have reached fame, or at least Glen Hansard has with his film, Once.

14. "Dreams" by The Cranberries (Album: Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, 1993). Beautiful. "Oh my life is changing everyday. Every possible way." Wonderful lyrics. And the vocal fluctuations that Dolores O'Riordan manages at the end of the song still gives me shivers to this day.

15. "The Scientist" by Coldplay (Album: A Rush of Blood to the Head, 2002). This song supplies the ringtone to one of my favorite people ever, who happens to be a scientist. Or at least a student of the sciences. I actually think this is a beautiful love poem, but perhaps, I am wrong in my interpretation. Regardless, the song has always made me a little emotional. As I think it should.

16. "Downtown" by Petula Clark (Album: You'd Better Like Me, 1964). My favorite song from the 1960s. Also, this song has just provided me with a great bunch of pleasure.

17. "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles (Album: Hey Jude, 1970). It was so hard for me to pick a Beatles song for this list, but I chose this song because of its connection to my own interests in writing. No particular reason. I have always loved this group and a number of their songs could have found their way to this play list.

18. "Mad About You" by Belinda Carlisle (Album, Belinda, 1986). A recent discovery I made from the soundtrack of 13 Going On 30. Just cute and sentimental.

Bonus Track: "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" by The Shirelles (Scepter Single 1211, 1960). Another great classic that has found its way into a couple of my favorite movies, Dirty Dancing and Beautiful.

That's my list. It was neat for me trying to make this up, and I feel good sharing some of these songs. What would be on your list?


saragraph said...

i know mine would include the following:

Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright

Jane by Ben Folds Five

Sara Smile by Hall and Oates

Judy Garland's Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Pure Imagination from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Highwayman by Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson

Power of Two and Wood Song by the Indigo Girls

Merry Happy by Kate Nash

Monkey by Counting Crows

Criminal by Fiona Apple

Freedom by George Michael

Also,... something by School of Seven Bells, Low, Tegan and Sara, the Beatles, Led Zepplin, Glen Hansard, Simon and Garfunkel, and Prince...

Laminated Fragments said...

I love your playlist Beamish. Perhaps one day when things aren't so pressing or when we both want to procrastinate, say, when WE ARE LIVING TOGETHER, we can make mix cds of our playlists for each other. Yeah excellent ideas!